Veggie Highlight: Basil
By: Riley Box, Customer Service Manager
This week the featured veggie is basil, or lemon basil. The two types are interchangeable, but lemon basil has a more tangy flavor. Lemon basil also has a nice strong aroma that can be rubbed on chicken and fish. Basil is best used fresh! When used in cooking, add your basil in at the end so it’s slightly wilted. It is seen in many Asian cuisines. Basil should be stored in a dry and cool area (not necessarily in the fridge). Make sure to keep it in a sealed container to maintain freshness. It can be stored in a small amount of water to maintain moisture. Have fun with your basil this week!
Zucchini with Basil, Mint, and Honey
- 4 medium zucchini, ends trimmed
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 tablespoons butter
- ¼ lemon
- 1 teaspoon honey, honey (a variety you like but nothing too strong)
- 10 small basil leaves
- 10 small mint leaves
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Cut the zucchini lengthwise into quarters, and then crosswise into ½-inch cubes. Put them in a bowl, season generously with salt and let sit for 20 to 30 minutes. Drain and pat dry.
- Heat the olive oil and butter in a large sauté pan (large enough to fit the zucchini in a single layer) over medium high heat. When the oil begins to shimmer, add the zucchini and let it brown. The trick to this recipe is controlling the heat so the zucchini neither steams nor burns – you want it to brown the edges while leaving the centers crisp-tender. Stir only when needed.
- As soon as the zucchini is done, spoon it into a serving dish, leaving the oil in the pan behind. Sprinkle with a little lemon juice, and the honey. Sprinkle the basil and mint leaves and grind some pepper over the zucchini.
- Variation: you can make a basil and mint pesto instead of using whole leaves. Combine 1/4 cup packed basil leaves and 1/4 cup packed mint leaves with a pinch of salt in a small food processor. Turn on the machine and drizzle 3 tablespoons oil through feed tube, until a loose sauce forms. You may need to scrape down the sides of the bowl once or twice. Once the zucchini is cooked, use this pesto to dress it — you may not need all the pesto.
Other fun recipes to enjoy….!